Luther woke slightly out of sorts. He always slept soundly and with a clear conscience, but a disturbing vision kept recurring as he lay in the darkness of the early dawn, suddenly alert.
Clowns! That was it, Clowns! Why would he have dreamed about Clowns after a wonderful evening with Ms. Altoids had relaxed his mind, body and Spirit?
He shrugged off his thoughts, no matter, if it was important, it would all come back to him in time, it always did.
He rose and preceded to do his full round of exercises in front of the open window,the cold January wind increasing his exertions as he completed his 100 Marine Push ups, moved over to his locker with the reinforced bar and knocked out 100 chin ups, 50 with each hand.
He poured a cup of rich Columbian Coffee from the cheap coffee pot with the timer set exactly for 5 a.m. each morning, took his journal from where he kept it in his locker, and sat down to make his latest entry.
Luther, not his real name of course, had been embedded at Moorview for just nigh on to 10 years. During that time he had been called on occasionally to perform some clandestine tasks, but mostly he was told to bide his time, keep a journal, and monitor activities at Moorview, and the "special cases' the government, through a blind agency, sent there for 'protection.'
Luther was paid well, deposits being made to his special overseas account bimonthly, totally tax free, while he continued to pay for his meager needs with the pittance afforded on his state check from Moorview.
Due to his tenure, Luther received 30 vacation days a year from Moorview, and he used that time to travel to his beach villa in Majorca, spoke fluent Spanish, and was the silent owner of a very popular beach bar called "NUTZ" frequented by mostly foreign travelers. In Majorca, everyone knew him as Paco, and thought he was a really funny, outgoing kind of guy.
Before starting his rounds Luther made it a point to stop in see the Chef, Boswell E. Krebbs, for whom he had an affinity, often sharing recipes, most of which included the bourbon Krebbs was addicted too, and often giving pointers.
If truth be known, Luther was responsible for most of the great holiday dinners at Moorview, Krebbs being passed out most of the time, too drunk to complete his chores or come up with a menu.
Upon reaching the kitchen this morning, Luther was gobsmacked to find Krebbs sober, staring into his coffee cup, and muttering to himself.
"What's Up Bos?"
"What are you talking about...I saw him last night before his rounds!"
"Deader than a day old cod...shit himself too...poor Bastard."
"Bobby Lee found him this morning...dead at the last call box...key in the box
indicated it was just past midnight....shit the bed dead, and his drawers full too!"
"What does Ward say?"
"Massive heart attack...natural causes...that's all Ward knows how to pronounce....'natural causes....NEXT!'
Luther mused, yes, Doc Ward did have a high mortality rate, almost 78%, and cause of death was always listed as 'natural'...might as well list cause of death as 'final'....same difference.
"Sorry Bos, I know you and Pappy went back a long way. If you don't feel up to it tonight, I'll cook dinner, got a great Coq au Vin recipe I've been dying to try out...and I know you've got plenty of chickens in the walk in."
"Yeah, Luther, thanks....think I'll take the afternoon off after I prep the chickens and start the soup stock...you know where everything is, including the key to the wine locker....I'm really bummed!"
The clown image came back to Luther as he proceeded to make his rounds, and he tried to shake it off. Tomorrow, according to the note in the dead drop, he was supposed to meet his contact from 'the agency'...something must be up...he hadn't had a 'face to face 'in over 3 years, things could be picking up at Moorview pretty soon.
As he was heading back to G wing he passed the library and ducked in to say 'Hi' to the Widow Hobbs, who was furtively bent over her desk drawer, rustling a magazine, her face flushed, and her hands busy in the area of her bunched up skirt.
"Howdy Ms. Hobbs...you O.K.?"
"Oh...Luther, you startled me! I'm just so upset over Pappy's passing last night I can't think straight from fidgeting!"
Luther noticed she was flushed, and even through the starched librarian ruffled blouse he saw the outlines of two very extended nipples.
"There, There, Ms. Hobbs....you're tense and upset, let me just come around the desk there and relax those neck and shoulders!"
"Oh no, Luther, I can't, I mean you shouldn't,, what will people say..."
"Just relax...you work too hard, you're just the best little librarian in the whole state of Illinois...I just hope the governor realizes it...when he gets out of jail, I mean!"
"Oh, Luther, your hands are so strong...I can feel the tension just oozing out!"
"I can tell it's oozing Martha, I'd like to call you Martha...in fact I call you Martha in my mind every night when I'm not otherwise occupied."
"Yes Luther, I like it when you call me Martha. Mr. Hobbs always addressed me as Martha, except when we...you know,when he would do what your doing on my back, and then slip his hands down my chest a little....yes, just like that Luther...and then he would call me Marty, just before, he...well, just before he slipped my dress down...just like that, and then......ahhhhhh...Luther....I'm dying and going to heaven........aggggg...!"
"Well Martha, I'm glad you're feeling better now. Perhaps a cup of tea and some work on the Dewey Decimal System, and you'll be as right as rain!"
"Oh Luther, I've been missing that all these years...how can I every repay you for your insight and kindness?"
"Oh, Marty, something will come up. Did you ever act in plays in school!"
"Yes Luther....I always had the lead...I did love playing make believe!"
"That's good Marty , I'm working on a new little screenplay for a small ensemble...it'll take some rehearsing after hours...but I think you'll be just right for the part!"
"Luther, I can't wait...as soon as I know my part I'll start working on my costume!"
"That shouldn't be much of a problem Marty...it really is a low budget production."
Luther gathered himself together as he left the now silent library and suddenly the images of Dr. Augustus Ward, Pappy, and Clarabell the Clown
appeared as an apparition in the deserted hallway.
Luther shook his head clear muttering, 'Great, now all I need is to see that fucking Elmo show up with Mr. Normal....but Ward....Ward...now that's a case that may need some investigating."